Biophysics Journal Club

Temperature Compensation through Kinetic Regulation in Biochemical Oscillators

Jordan Sawchuk, SFU Physics
Location: P8445.2

Wednesday, 19 June 2024 11:30AM PDT


Nearly all circadian clocks maintain a period that is insensitive to temperature changes, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation (TC). Yet, it is unclear whether there is any common feature among different systems that exhibit TC. From a general timescale invariance, we show that TC relies on the existence of certain period-lengthening reactions wherein the period of the system increases strongly with the rates in these reactions. By studying several generic oscillator models, we show that this counterintuitive dependence is nonetheless a common feature of oscillators in the nonlinear (far-from-onset) regime where the oscillation can be separated into fast and slow phases. The increase of the period with the period-lengthening reaction rates occurs when the amplitude of the slow phase in the oscillation increases with these rates while the progression speed in the slow phase is controlled by other rates of the system. The positive dependence of the period on the period-lengthening rates balances its inverse dependence on other kinetic rates in the system, which gives rise to robust TC in a wide range of parameters. We demonstrate the existence of such period-lengthening reactions and their relevance for TC in all four model systems we considered. Theoretical results for a model of the Kai system are supported by experimental data. A study of the energy dissipation also shows that better TC performance requires higher energy consumption. Our study unveils a general mechanism by which a biochemical oscillator achieves TC by operating in parameter regimes far from the onset where period-lengthening reactions exist.

by Haochen Fu, et al.
PNAS (2024).